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Making the most of an unfortunate situation: what Kathryn Tappen is doing during the lockout

Posted by She's Game Sports  September 20, 2012 11:26 AM

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The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of America is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The clubs, in cities and towns around the country, provide a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, life-enhancing programs and character development experiences, hope and opportunity.

With the announcement of the NHL Lockout this past weekend, I found myself with free time on my hands for the immediate future. I decided it was time to go back to doing what I love – volunteer. And so, I ventured out to become one of the adult professionals that the Boys and Girls Club of America depend on to make their system work for our youth.

On Wednesday evening, I participated in the volunteer orientation at the Boys and Girls Club that is within walking distance of my home in Boston.

My first reaction was of surprise at the number of people like myself who showed up for the orientation. I was thrilled to see that so many people want to give back. Immediately I had a smile on my face.

The children in the club all welcomed us with big “hellos” and smiles. And there were kids EVERYWHERE! It’s no wonder they need so many volunteers. The employees and children create such a warm facility, a safe haven for millions of children around the country.

Then my group took the tour. If there were ever a look of awe on 20 individuals all at once, I saw it last night. A learning center, an art room, a computer room that looked more like an Apple store than an afterschool program, a recently remodeled music room equipped with guitars, pianos, a recording studio, a full basketball court, workout room, swimming pool, rock climbing wall, and so much more. I was blown away – and proud. I can’t believe that children all over the country have access to this type of facility for after school programs at the Boys and Girls Club. It was exactly what the mission stated: hope and opportunity.

For $25 a year for kids, and $5 a year for teens, students can come to the Boys and Girls Club from the time they leave school each day until as late as 7:30pm. $25 a year? Are you kidding me? We were all shocked. And the best part – that includes a dinner meal every night.

Attending orientation at the Boys and Girls Club opened my eyes to another world. While I always knew what the club was, I had never explored to the extent I did on Wednesday night. And now, I cannot wait to get started by helping young individuals with their homework and their activities.

I better brush up on my algebra skills – or else these kids will be teaching me instead of the other way around! But something tells me I’m going to be learning a lot from this amazing place.

To learn more about or get involved with the Boys and Girls Club of America, go here.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Shes Game Sports is a new media company dedicated to sports-loving women around the world. We are here to entertain, serve, empower and inspire women by delivering the heart of More »

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